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Great Adaptations [4 Discs] [Criterion Collection] [DVD]
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$84.99
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Overview

Special Features

  • Great Expectations:
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Lord of the Flies:
  • New digital transfer with fully restored image and sound
  • Audio commentary by director Peter Brook, producer Lewis Allen, director of photography Tom Hollyman, and cameraman/editor Gerald Feil
  • Excerpts from the novel, read by author William Golding
  • Deleted scene, with a reading by Golding and commentary
  • Original theatrical trailer with commentary
  • Production scrapbook, home movies, and outtakes
  • Excerpts from Gerald Feil's 1972 documentary "The Empty Space," showing Brook's methods for creating theater
  • The Most Dangerous Game:
  • Audio commentary by film historian Bruce Eder
  • Oliver Twist:

Synopsis

The Most Dangerous Game
The first of many official and unofficial screen versions of Richard Connell's The Most Dangerous Game was put together by producer Willis O'Brien and directors Ernest B. Schoedsack and Irving Pichel in 1932. Leslie Banks stars as loony Russian count Zaroff, a renowned big-game hunter who tires of stalking animals and begins hunting down the "most dangerous game"-human beings. Luring unwary victims to his remote island, Zaroff wines and dines them, gives them a few hours' head start to run into the jungle, then hunts them down with rifle and bow and arrow. As his grisly trophy room demonstrates, Zaroff hasn't missed yet. Shipwreck survivors Joel McCrea and Fay Wray are Zaroff's latest quarry. "First the hunt, then the revels!" declares Zaroff, casting a lecherous eye towards the wide-eyed Ms. Wray. The original Connell story had no heroine, but who wants to watch Joel McCrea lose most of his clothing while scurrying through the jungle? The Most Dangerous Game was filmed on RKO's standing King Kong sets during a lull in the production of that classic film, utilizing most of the Kong personnel (actors Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Noble Johnson, Steve Clemente and Dutch Hendrian; producer O'Brien; director Schoedsack; composer Max Steiner). While the plot has been reshaped and recycled many times since 1932, RKO's only official remake of Most Dangerous Game was 1945's A Game of Death. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Great Expectations
Immediately grabbing the audience's attention with a heart-stopping opening scene in a dark graveyard, acclaimed British director David Lean realizes the cinematic potential of Charles Dickens' classic 1861 novel, and the result is considered by many to be one of the finest literary adaptations ever made as well as one of the greatest British films of all time. Crystallized into a tight 118-minute running time by Lean, Ronald Neame, and a corps of uncredited contributors, this is the story of young Pip, a lad of humble means whose training as a gentleman is bankrolled by a mysterious benefactor. Along the way, Pip falls in love with the fickle Estella, befriends the cheerfully insouciant Herbert Pocket, has memorable encounters with the escaped convict Magwitch and the lunatic dowager Miss Havisham, and almost (but not quite) forgets his modest origins as the foster son of kindhearted blacksmith Joe Gargery. The role of Pip is evenly divided between Anthony Wager as a child and John Mills as an adult; Alec Guinness makes his starring film debut as the jaunty Pocket; Jean Simmons and Valerie Hobson are costarred as the younger and older Estella; and Martita Hunt is unforgettable as the mad Miss Havisham ("It's a fine cake! A wedding cake! MINE!") Remade several times, Great Expectations resurfaced in 1989 as a TV miniseries, with Jean Simmons, originally the young Estella, tearing a passion to tatters as Miss Havisham; and in 1998 it was remade again, in a contemporary version, with Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert DeNiro, and Anne Bancroft in the Miss Havisham role. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Oliver Twist
The second of director David Lean's adaptations of a Charles Dickens novel (Great Expectations (1946) was the first), Oliver Twist expertly boils down an enormous novel to a little less than two hours' screen time. The film begins with baby Oliver left on the doorstep of an orphanage/workhouse by his unwed mother. Proving a difficult charge to the wicked orphanage official, Oliver (John Howard Davies) is sold into a job as an undertaker's apprentice. He runs away and joins a gang of larcenous street urchins, led by master pickpocket Fagin (Alec Guinness). Oliver is rescued from this life by the kindly Mr. Brownlow (Henry Stephenson); but, with the complicity of evil Bill Sikes (Robert Newton), Fagin abducts Oliver. Sikes' girl friend Nancy (Kay Walsh) restores Oliver to Brownlow, leading to tragic consequences before an ultimately happy ending. Oliver Twist was filmed in England in 1948, but its American release was held up for three years due to the allegedly anti-Semitic portrayal of the duplicitous Fagin. Even in its currently censored form, Oliver Twist is one the best-ever film versions of a Dickens novel. It served as a blueprint for Oliver! (1968), the Oscar-winning musical version. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Lord of the Flies
Peter Brooks' big-screen adaptation of William Golding's classic Lord of the Flies adheres closely to the source material. After a plane accident, 30 school-age boys find themselves stranded on an island. The boys decide that the disciplined Ralph (James Aubrey) will be their leader. Jack (Tom Chapin) heads up a group who will hunt and butcher the local population of pigs for food. Also on the island is the mature, intelligent Piggy (Hugh Edwards). Eventually Ralph and Jack become the center of a war for leadership on the island. The story was filmed with less success in 1990. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Joel McCrea
    Joel McCrea - Bob Rainsford
  • Fay Wray
    Fay Wray - Eve Trowbridge
  • Leslie Banks
    Leslie Banks - Count Zaroff
  • Robert Armstrong
    Robert Armstrong - Martin Trowbridge
  • Image coming soon
    Steve Clemente - Tartar Servant
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.